c1760 Lady Montagu South Staffordshire Enamel Snuff Box

£800.00 £500.00Save: 38% off

An early example of a circular enamel on copper snuff box made in the South Staffordshire factories, around 1760.

The snuff box is decorated predominantly with pink and white enamel. On its sides and base, it is decorated with finely painted tulips. The central panel is hand painted, depicting a lady in Turkish dress, with an oriental parasol servant behind her. On her left is a dandy wearing a feathered hat and knee breeches. An arched colonnade can be seen in the background.

The European fashion of Turquerie rose in popularity during the late 17th century, through the opening of trade and diplomacy with the Ottoman Empire. Association with these exotic fashions could show one’s elite status, as well as an open-minded interest in the world. Perhaps the most influential exponent of Turquerie in Europe was the celebrity aristocrat Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who left for Turkey in 1717 when her husband was made ambassador to the Ottoman Court. Her collected letters whilst there, describing the fashions, were distributed across Europe in manuscript form. Her letters influenced how Europeans interpreted the fashions of the Turkish Orient.

The condition of the snuff box is good for its age, though the white enamel shows cracking that has accumulated dirt. The raised scrolling and diapering patterns also show signs of wear.

Size: 8.3 x 6.5 x 3.3cm (3¼ x 2½ x 1½ )
Weight: 82.6g